The fear of a massive fire season ahead in Queensland has decreased as the effects of a third La Nina in succession begin to be felt in parts of the state.
The Rural Fire Brigades Association Queensland general manager Justin Choveaux has even dubbed the upcoming spring as Operation Snatch Strap - because a second truck might be needed to pull the first one out of a bog.
"People in our parts - Gympie - are finding that side-by-side brigades would work well in the conditions because they don't get bogged so easy," he said, adding that Queensland was a big state and there were still areas with dry grass and fuel.
"However, there's no way it's going to be a big fire season this year," Mr Choveaux said. "The brigades out west are now saying next year is when it's all going to happen."
In August, prior to the La Nina forecast firming up, Rural Fire Service Roma area director Phil Young told a Charleville forum that fuel loads building up in parts of Queensland from successive La Ninas was reminiscent of the conditions that brought on one of the state's more intense bushfire seasons, in 2012-13.
A more collaborative approach to preparing for fire seasons was one of the main messages from the Fire in the Mulga forum at Charleville, where indigenous participants said land management legislation had been written for users, not with them.
Lore versus law was the terminology Charleville's Ross Mitchell used to describe what he saw happening in Queensland, saying black science and white science ideally had to work together.
"We can't sit in silos around this country, it's not going to work," he said.
First Nations fire practitioner Robbie Williams, visiting from Lismore, NSW, said understanding the holistic outcomes of burning techniques helped do it well.
"People thought we were only burning country so animals would come out for us to eat," he said.
"Our first rule is, never burn canopy.
"The burning we do creates a beautiful ash that the tree collects.
"It's not just about hazard reduction, it's connected to everything."
That would bring about the right sort of grass regrowth, Mr Williams said.
"At the moment your cows are eating KFC and McDonalds."
Mr Williams added that the system set up by the old people meant different people were assigned land types - swamps, ironbark, mulga - to look after at the right time for each area.
He said they now created 'protection mapping' services for people, saying that if an indigenous fire service was set up in the south west, it could undertake contracts, three-day package deals and so on.
The Murweh shire's stock routes supervisor Blair O'Connor said that as well as weeds, a lot of country was choked with brigalow and mulga that travelling stock couldn't use.
"We don't have the money to manage that, which is why I think cultural burns are a great idea," he said.
QFES area commander Greg Stewart said the service had changed the way it fought fires but hadn't altered the way it approached bushfire management much.
"I'm here to see what I can learn - these sorts of things need to continue," he said.
Mr Choveaux said this week everyone - Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service staff and councils as well as landholders - were burning opportunistically at the moment.
"My brigade has a backlog of burns to do, especially stack burns, some going back a couple of years," he said.
"It's hard to get reduction burns to start.
"If you can though, make sure you get a permit from your fire warden first."
IN OTHER NEWS:
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.